Marie Kondo and The FlyLady walk into a bar . . . and I think to myself, I’m glad we’re at a bar and not at my house!
Yesterday I posted some spring cleaning tips and a special offer from Grove Collaborative (go check it out if you haven’t–I’ll wait).
But what happens when yummy-smelling, natural cleaning products aren’t enough?
I’ve written before about my on-again, off-again relationship with FlyLady. I did a pretty good job of going through the beginner lessons, tracking daily evening sink cleaning routines in my planner. I’ve also purchased and read Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. But I kept falling off the wagon. Why? The question drove me crazy.
Then, around the first of this year, I realized that I had been approaching housekeeping much like I had those failed diets. I had failed to make it mine; to adapt according to the seasons; to really figure out what would work for me, authentically, with a clear vision.
I’m not there yet. Those of you who followed my weight loss journey know that it took several years and weight loss surgery to reach my goal–and that I need to make healthy eating and movement a priority every single day. I realize that I need to take this approach to cleaning as well.
Around Christmas I randomly saw a Facebook ad and signed up for the ecourse from DailyOM titled: A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back. It’s a little different from other courses in that it is released bit by bit (or drip by drip as they say in the course) every day. Sometimes I get the email and I’m like WTF? But I write down the quote or insight in my journal and usually it comes to me later, or when I review the week I can see a pattern. So far I’ve decided to do a capsule wardrobe and have found myself noticing. Noticing is a big step in clearing. The Facebook group associated with it is fascinating. There are all sorts of people in the group, from all walks of life, hoarders and minimalists, all working towards clearing whatever is holding them back. Occasionally someone will post something like, “Uh, I signed up to learn how to clean my house and all I get is weird quotes from Buddha or a handful of nonsensical poetry.” But for $10 (it’s a pay what you want model) it has allowed me to get much deeper at my issues than any list of cleaning schedules ever could.
I also have this vision of seriously downsizing once our pets are gone and moving into a downtown condo. Luckily DH thinks this could be pretty cool. We’d have to get rid of our motorcycles but the idea of no yard work and being within walking distance of breweries and running club is super appealing.
For now, though, I still have to figure out the whole cleaning thing. While I’m working on my internal stuff, I found myself looking for a blueprint that wasn’t quite as rigid as origami clothing and detailed cleaning lists. Enter the following book:
Seriously, it was like I finally found my people. I found myself nodding in agreement when I was reading it. Here is a taste of the approach, from the UfYH website:
There’s a weird sort of void in the “taking care of your physical surroundings” stuff, in the archaic “how to keep a home” and “how to be domestic” arenas. It tends to ignore single people, or people without kids, or students, or people with pets, or people with roommates, or people with full-time jobs, or classes, or other shit going on. It assumes everyone is married with kids and one partner is around a lot of the time, and has a lot of time to devote to “housekeeping.”
Well, we don’t all live that life. Very few of us do. Our lives are complicated and sometimes messy, and we’re often distracted and overwhelmed and lazy. Yeah, I said it. We’re lazy. There’s no real shame in that, but it’s something to overcome, at least temporarily. Because no matter what our situations are, we deserve better than to live in filth. We deserve to live somewhere with nice things we love, and to have a clean, calm place to be, when we’re not at work or school or any of the fifty zillion other places we go.
I’m again reminded how much this is like the dieting dilemma! I just want to eat healthy, not subscribe to a specific dietary dogma or have to give up regular life. So I just read this book, and am planning to re-read it and do some 20/10s while I figure out a routine that works FOR ME.
It’s a life-long journey, and as the book says, a never-ending cycle. Kind of like breathing, eating, and physical movement, you will always need to clean things. Whether you like the FlyLady approach or Marie Kondo approach or some other “approach,” the key is finding one that works FOR YOU.
I’d love to hear what works for you in the comments below!